Ballynahinch Castle Hotel gets a stylish refurb as the Shelbourne opens two new bars

Travel deals: Plan an escape with these holiday ideas in Ireland

Castle chic

Kerry-born, London-based designer Bryan O'Sullivan is responsible for a stunning refurbishment in the original house at Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. The rooms include wallpapers from Morris & Co, along with an eclectic blend of colours, soft furnishings, and bespoke and antique pieces, which have created a mismatched decor with a homely, lived-in feel. From €220 per person sharing including dinner, bed and breakfast.

Southern charm 

For a diverse staycation this summer, look to the Munster Vales region, stretching 1,100km through Waterford, Tipperary, Cork, and Limerick, across five mountain ranges. Wander through the Ballyhoura Mountains and see evidence of Neolithic times at Lough Gir, or hike and bike the hills. At Ballyhass Lakes in Mallow, Co Cork, two spring water lakes offer archery, rope courses, kayaking, and cliff climbing.


New openings

The Shelbourne has opened a new bar and outdoor terrace. The 1824 Bar, named after the year the hotel was founded, offers a range of high-end drinks, cocktails, and whiskeys, tucked away at the top of the grand staircase. For the rest of June, the hotel's new outside space, The Terrace, will serve sharing platters of Irish charcuterie and cheese with a sommelier's chosen glass of fine wine for two for €50.

Coastal cool 

Tucked away behind the dunes of Ireland's Velvet Coast, overlooking Ireland's Eye and Lambay Island, the Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links offers guests one of the most spectacular situations for an overnight stay. The four-star, former home to the Jameson dynasty, now has 134 modernised bedrooms, a shebeen, whiskey bar, and two restaurants – the Seaview, headed up by chef Thomas Haughton, and 1780, which overlooks the historical Jameson gardens. Both serve Irish and French cuisine, and with afternoon tea and a spa onsite, too, there's something for every guest here. The Wine & Dine package includes one night's stay with breakfast and a three-course dinner in the Seaview restaurant, from €215.